Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Hidden Within - WEP Challenge: 28 Days

Only 28 days to get my portfolio ready. So much to do!

One week in and I’m excited but a bit overwhelmed. I’m having so much fun I need to force myself to eat and sleep. They want dozens of options to choose from.

Ten days down and eighteen to go. Starting to feel some panic because there are so many ideas inside my head. The details need to be just right. Each drawing is better than the last. Each one shows more of what could be.

Halfway! The drawings have more depth than anything I’ve ever done. I’m anticipating problems that might happen in the real world and finding solutions. I’ve never been so consumed.

My skills are improving. The drawings are so real I can feel them surrounding me.
Shadows and sun. Dark and light. So many contrasts. So many metaphors.
It messes with my head sometimes.

Have to get them out. Have to bring them to life.

The shadows deepen.
The light ebbs.

Things are lurking in the shadows. Things I didn’t put there. Things I don’t understand.

My hand aches.
The images keep coming. Intruding into my dreams until I don’t know if I’m awake or asleep.

My blood seeps into the art, deepens the shadows, and enlivens those hidden within.
Fear pours from my hands along with the blood.

Is any of it real?

I can't stop.
The drawings cover the floor and the walls.

What have I done?
What will I do?

It’s too-- 

...I HAVE BROKEN THROUGH...

...IT BEGINS...

***

This story is part of the WEP challenge: 28 Days. I hope you check out the other entries - and add one of your own!  It's an excellent community and a fun way to try out new angles with your writing.


This is actually the 2nd piece I wrote for the challenge. The first had so many similarities/echoes with the piece Toi Thomas wrote, I decided to put that one aside and take a new angle.

How about you? Do you enjoy flash fiction?




Tuesday, February 19, 2019

The Emotion Thesaurus is HERE!



Hi guys! Today I'm helping authors Angela Ackerman and Becca Puglisi launch their new book, The Emotion Thesaurus (Second Edition)! You might know about The Emotion Thesaurus or even have it on your shelf. But chances are, you may not have known a second edition was in the works. Becca and Angela decided to keep it a surprise and only recently announced the book was releasing!


Your Favorite Book Is Now Bigger & Better


The Emotion Thesaurus is known for its powerful lists that help writers show (rather than tell) character emotion through body language, thoughts, visceral sensations, dialogue cues, and behavior. This second edition gives writers more of what they love: more emotions (55 more to be exact!) more teaching content, and more writing tips. Here are three of the new entries: Euphoria, Vindicated, and Schadenfreude. This book is almost twice the size of the original, so it's almost two books in one. Anyway, if you'd like to check into it, Goodreads has some reviews up, and you can find more information here.

One More Thing...Want to Attend a FREE Writing Conference?



Or a writing retreat? A workshop? Or even have your yearly membership to a professional writer's organization suddenly paid for? OF COURSE YOU DO!

Angela and Becca have a giveaway on right now to celebrate their release, and one lucky winner will get their choice of the above, up to a $500 US value. There are some conditions so check that out, but this is the giveaway of a lifetime, so hurry over to enter. And good luck! 


Wednesday, February 6, 2019

IWSG & Creativity

The Insecure Writer's Support Group is the brainchild of Alex J. Cavanaugh. He, his clones, minions, friends, and fellow authors make it an amazing event every month.




Purpose: To share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds!

And we’re revving up IWSG Day to make it more fun and interactive! Every month, we'll announce a question that members can answer in their IWSG Day post. These questions may prompt you to share advice, insight, a personal experience or story. Include your answer to the question in your IWSG post or let it inspire your post if you are struggling with something to say.

*****
OPTIONAL IWSG Day Question: Besides writing, what other creative outlets do you have?

Music has always been a huge part of my life and I've recently returned to playing the piano (when we inherited a piano after the death of a family member). I hadn't played since I was a young teen and it took a while to get back into the groove. I'll never play without a few stumbles here and there, but it's bringing me lots of joy!

I also doodle around with cartoons. Never was very good with realistic sketching, but I do enjoy cartooning.

Baking and cooking can also be creative. Most of the time, things turn out very well, but the other times keep things interesting! 😀

How about you? Any musicians, artists, crafters, and other creative types out there?

Monday, January 21, 2019

Angela, Becca & The Emotion Thesaurus 2nd Edition!

Have you ever held onto a secret you've been dying to share, and then finally...you can?

For the last few weeks I've been helping Angela and Becca at Writers Helping Writers keep a BIG secret...what the next book in their thesaurus series will be.

It might seem strange to not tell one's readers what book you're planning to release...unless you happen to write books on Show, Don't Tell like Angela and Becca do! They couldn't resist the opportunity to show, not tell, by waiting for the cover reveal. They even created a *REDACTED* cover for it, which you might have seen floating around.

We're revealing the cover at long last!

*drum roll*

                                         

The next book in the descriptive thesaurus series is 

It's been 7 years since the original Emotion Thesaurus hit the shelves. Many writers have credited this unusual book with transforming their writing. This guide is packed with helpful lists of body language, thoughts, and visceral sensations for 75 different emotions, which makes it easier for writers to convey what characters feel.

Since 2012, many have asked the authors if they would add more emotions, so that's what Angela & Becca have done. This new edition has added 55 more emotions, bringing the total to 130.

There are other new additions to the book and in fact, it's almost doubled in size! I recommend checking out the full list of emotions (and some sample entries) HERE.

And more good news: this book is available for preorder!

You can find it on AmazonKoboApple Books (iTunes), and Indiebound.

One last thing: go grab some free education!

Angela & Becca are giving away a free webinar recording of one of their popular workshops on Emotion, so head over if this is an area of struggle for you. It might really help!



Wednesday, January 2, 2019

IWSG & Questions, Questions, Questions!

The Insecure Writer's Support Group is the brainchild of Alex J. Cavanaugh. He, his clones, minions, friends, and fellow authors make it an amazing event every month.




Purpose: To share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds!

And we’re revving up IWSG Day to make it more fun and interactive! Every month, we'll announce a question that members can answer in their IWSG Day post. These questions may prompt you to share advice, insight, a personal experience or story. Include your answer to the question in your IWSG post or let it inspire your post if you are struggling with something to say.

***
January 2 question - What are your favorite and least favorite questions people ask you about your writing?

This one is a bit tricky as I haven't told a lot of people in my Real Life that I write.
Being a romance writer and a teacher is a bit of a tricky combination so I've kept those parts of my life separate.

I do have a few Real Life Buddies who know. They tend to be great with their questions and mostly just ask, "How's your writing going?"

It's a good question, but a difficult one to explain to those who don't write. I tend to say I'm making progress, but am not quite ready to put my work out there. Yet.

My least favourite question is actually ANY question about my writing. Because I talk about it so rarely, I don't have answers ready. I'm not prepared and I tend to stumble and stammer. As I get closer to publishing my work, I know I'll have to practice!

How about you? How do you handle those tough questions thrown your way?

Monday, December 31, 2018

For 2019

We face 2019
with heavy hearts
from a devastating loss 
of a loved one
in the final days of 2018

a year that took
3 from our little family

a year full of
sadness and horrors
in the wide world
beyond our little corner

but a year
also full of
love
hope
family
success
joy
happiness
and those small
moments that make
life
so very worthwhile

Let 2019
be filled with those
magical
moments of good
moments of quiet joy
and silly fun

Let 2019 be the year
you find wonders
and simple pleasures
and possibilities

For that's where you make
magic

Monday, December 10, 2018

WEP Challenge - By Candlelight

Dylan wiped his hands on his new jeans. Maybe he should change into more comfortable ones. Or dress slacks. A tie. He should wear a tie.
No. Too stuffy and he’d never be able to swallow. Or breathe.
Okay. No tie. Stick with the jeans.
Deep breath. If he couldn’t get it together, he’d sweat right through the shirt he'd chosen.
Calm.
His sister was all about yoga and meditation. She’d know how to set the stage and not panic. She’d know how he should dress too. But if he called her for advice, he’d never hear the end of it.
He was doing this solo.
And he was doing it right.
The timer on his cell beeped. Ten minutes. Only ten minutes. Screw calm, he had things to do.
A peek in the oven showed the lasagna bubbling away. Another few minutes and he’d pull it out to rest. Salad was prepped and ready to toss. Garlic bread set to go in as the pasta came out.
He’d set the dining nook and hidden the little box behind the plants on the ledge so he could pull it out at the right time.
At the thought, another wave of sweat rolled down his forehead. He used a tea towel to wipe it away then looked in horror at it. He hadn’t done laundry. Were there any clean ones left?
With a sigh, Dylan swiped the ruined cloth over his neck and wished it wouldn’t be totally disgusting to use it on his arm pits as well.
He’d burned three of his ten minutes. Dylan grabbed the barbecue lighter from the drawer and headed back to the dining nook. It took three tries but he got it working and he slowly walked around the room, lighting the candles he’d clustered. Apparently the effect was better when candles were set in odd numbers, so he had groups of three and five. Seven had looked more like a pyre than a romantic setting, so he’d scrapped that.
The buzzer nearly had him jumping out of his skin. With a sigh at his nerves, Dylan tossed the tea towel and the lighter, then moved to the door to press the button. “H-Hello.” He thunked his head against the wall over the stammer. He couldn’t be lame. Not tonight.
“It’s me.”
Dylan nodded, then groaned and pressed the buzzer. “Come on up.”
“See you in a minute.” The smile reached through the speaker, bringing one of his own. Everything about that voice soothed him right down to his soul.
Dylan unlocked the apartment door. He started back to the kitchen then decided he’d rather meet the elevator than check on the pasta one more time. He walked down the hall and leaned back against the wall to wait. After a moment, he shoved off, not wanting to look too casual. He straightened, then loosened his knees. Not uptight either. Hands in pockets. Yeah. That would work.
He was driving himself way past crazy.
The elevator dinged and in only an eternity the doors swooshed open. “Hey you.”
“Hey yourself, handsome.”
The kiss soothed any remaining nerves. This was right. All the way right.
“Is something burning?”
Dylan whipped around to see smoke snaking out of his apartment just as a smoke alarm split the night.
They raced to the door but the smoke was thicker and a peek showed flames from where he’d tossed the tea towel too close to one group of candles. Talk about a pyre. The sprinkler system kicked on but the flames didn’t seem to care.
When he started into the room, Marc tapped his arm. “Be careful. I’ll call 911.”
Dylan grabbed the fire extinguisher from under the sink and aimed it at the flames. It didn’t take long to kill the fire, but the mess was unbelievable. His shoulders sagged and he swore. “Tonight was supposed to be… I planned everything… Damn it, I was going to propose!” Well, that wasn’t the romantic speech he’d planned.
Marc’s eyes widened as he finished the call and shoved his phone in his pocket then joined Dylan while neighbours gathered in the hallway.
A small smile kicked up the corner of Marc’s mouth. Without breaking eye contact, he reached into his jacket pocket and pulled out a small box. “In a few decades, it’ll make a fabulous story to tell the grandkids.”

***
This story is part of the WEP challenge. Hope you'll check out the rest of the entries for the twin themes of Ribbons & Candles! There's still time to sign up as entries don't close until December 20th!

WEP CHALLENGE FOR DECEMBER - RIBBONS AND CANDLES


Thanks so much to the WEP team for the Comment award! Check out the fabulous winning story by Michelle Wallace and the other winners at this post! This is a fun flash fiction challenge and a great community to join. Check it out!